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I WANTED TO ASK YOU ❋ Rachelle Toarmino

I wanted to ask you
if you knew how vertically time shifts
when you say “what aren’t we doing”

and seem to mean it. I kick up each word
to see what’s underneath
but instead spread

some moments out onto my lap.
there are mornings spent in quiet violence
and movements made inside light.

I hold one up to a window
and press it into the glass
as it carries dusk inside a room.

bluish shadows stripe the last shreds of sunlight
through the blinds onto the floor.
behind me the sun is setting soon

and the sky looks like it belongs inside a marble.
the air is thick like cream broth
and your hands are made of leaves

and lights find shape in mine.
muffling their shy way toward the glass
are traces of gasp-like sounds

if gasps were exhales and not inhales.
they reach me like my ears are underwater.
the red-faced sun protests

the whole way home
and shrugs its shoulders one last time.
I’m kneeling at the edge of this memory.

we walk out into the night
and I dare you to pull a fistful of my hair
and when you do it feels like a child

is purposefully stuffing his hands with grass.
we look up at the dark glazed sky
and thank each individual star for coming

and I say something like a wish
into your shoulder.
I go to bed thinking “the earth plays hard to get”

when the moon is a clean toenail clipping in the sky
which means nothing
not even if you want it to.